It is no secret that Samsung has been working on bendable displays, with the technology making its way to its recently launched Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, among other devices.

Now, a new report out of South Korea seems to indicate that Samsung is looking to release a device that is a 5-inch smartphone when it is folded and a 7-inch tablet when it is opened up.

It is believed that the firm is testing Snapdragon 620 and 820 processors for the device, which is also rumored to have a microSD card slot, 3GB of RAM, and a non-removable battery.

During a call with investors earlier this year, Samsung Display’s Director, Lee Chang-hoon, said: “Development of Foldable OLED is taking place according to our plan… We are planning on mass-production and release of this product by discussing it with our partners.”

While it’s important to note that he said the firm was working on a foldable display and not a foldable smartphone in particular, that seems to be the most likely use for such an invention. ETNews reports that a Samsung source confirmed it would be a smartphone/tablet hybrid. There is some speculation that the bendable OLED would enable the device to be folded in half like a wallet. It’s possible it would need to be re-oriented to switch between the two options.

Skeptics question the timing of that particular report, which was released on April 1, but Samsung has previously said it would launch foldable devices this year. Anonymous sources told trusted rumor blog SamMobile that the device is being tested in China and is being developed under the codename “Project Valley”.  LG is also reportedly testing bendable screens.

Smartphone buyers increasingly harder to impress

The development could bring some new life into the smartphone industry, where the glass bar form factor of modern smartphones is no longer considered groundbreaking or particularly exciting by consumers. The prospect of having a phone with a large screen that can still fit into a small purse or pocket is likely to be embraced by many phone buyers.

It wouldn’t be the first time Samsung has broken ground in terms of smartphone design. The company pioneered the “phablet” market with its Galaxy Note. It also recently debuted a concept “wallpaper TV” that is less than 1mm thick and weighs just 1.9kg, making it so light that it can be hung on a wall simply using magnets.

Tobias Matthews

Tobias Matthews


Writer at Fourth Source.